Elon Musk ‘tweets himself out of top spot’ as world’s richest billionaire

Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person after he lost the top spot in Forbes’s annual “World’s Billionaire List”.

The tech mogul is now the second-richest billionaire after $39bn of his net worth was knocked off in a year.

The Twitter and Tesla chief has been dethroned by Bernard Arnault, the French luxury goods tycoon who is the chief executive of LVMH.

Mr Musk’s net worth fell to $180bn, far behind Mr Arnault’s $211bn. The latter’s net worth increased by $53bn in the past year.

Forbes said Mr Musk’s dethronement was because of his “pricey acquisition of Twitter”, which had tanked Tesla’s shares.

Last year marked the company’s worst year ever on Wall Street, losing $700bn amid investor fears about the impact of Covid in China and Mr Musk’s controversial takeover of Twitter.

Mr Musk’s Twitter purchase for $44bn was largely funded by selling shares of his electric car company. The value of Tesla’s shares tumbled by nearly 50 per cent following the announcement of the Twitter takeover.

While Tesla made up for much of those losses this year, its current market value remains lower than its value before the takeover of the microblogging site.

Mr Musk himself has made light of his at times chaotic finances, saying he had spent $44bn to acquire “the world’s largest non-profit”.

In November, Mr Musk said Twitter was losing $4m a day.

“Musk has mostly tweeted himself out of the top spot on the rank,” Forbes said, alluding to the billionaire’s several controversial tweets.

Mr Arnault, who owns more than 70 luxury brands, had been tailing Mr Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, but outpaced his competitors by making the biggest fortune jump by any billionaire yet.

Mr Bezos tumbled to third rank with a net worth of $114bn after losing $57bn, as his e-commerce giant’s share price fell nearly 40 per cent.

The year also saw a significant decline in the number of billionaires. Forbes said the number of billionaires in the world went down by 28, falling to 2,640 from 2,668 last year.

“Altogether, the planet’s billionaires are now worth $12.2tn, a drop of $500bn from $12.7tn in March 2022,” it said.

Two people who were in the list last year did not find a spot among the top 25 this year.

Zhang Yiming, the founder of TikTok’s parent company Bytedance, dropped from the 25th spot to 26th as his company has struggled with a haircut loan it took from investors.

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao’s net worth also dropped to the 167th rank from 19th last year amid an extended period of trouble in the crypto market.


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